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Live music picks: Dec. 31-Jan. 1

Atlanta band the Constellations, chroniclers of Atlanta's after-hours nightlife scene, are the perfect companions for New Year's Eve. They'll play at Smith's Olde Bar Dec. 31. Photo: Jennifer Tzar

The Constellations, chroniclers of Atlanta's after-hours nightlife scene, are the perfect companions for New Year's Eve. They'll play at Smith's Olde Bar Dec. 31. Photo: Jennifer Tzar

FRIDAY
The Constellations

This is what Atlanta sounds like, if you put all of our city’s musical ingredients into a big funky blender. It’s soulful, trippy, hook-filled and, as the band’s debut album puts it, “Southern Gothic.” Not only does it sound like Atlanta, the album takes listeners on a vicarious tour of the city’s after-hours night life.
8 p.m. Dec. 31. $25. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

FRIDAY
Billy Joe Royal

This Valdosta-born, Marietta-raised vocalist scored a Top 10 hit back in 1965 with “Down in the Boondocks,” a tune written by another Atlantan, Joe South. He also had three more Top 40 entries during the ’60s, two of those also penned by South. Back in 2007, he played a benefit to help restore and re-open the Strand Theatre in Marietta, a venue where he played in his early years. Now he’s retiring from the road with a final gig at the venerable venue. “It’s going to be kind of emotional,” Royal said in a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution interview. “But I figured, I started here, I’ll end here.”
8 p.m. Dec. 31. $35. Earl Smith Strand Theatre, 117 N. Park Square N.E., Marietta. 770-293-0080.

FRIDAY
Charlie Wilson, Chrisette Michele

The former Gap Band vocalist helped ring in 2010 with a show on Jan. 1 and now he’ll help see it out with a New Year’s Eve gig at the same venue. His third solo album, “Just Charlie,” was released Dec. 7. The third album from sultry Grammy-winning R&B vocalist Michele, titled “Let Freedom Reign,” hit stores a week before Wilson’s.
9 p.m. Dec. 31. $73.45-$106.50. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-523-6275.

FRIDAY
Jake Owen

In 2009, Florida native Owen hit No. 2 on the country chart with “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” from his second album, “Easy Does It.” It’s still his biggest hit, but the follow-up single, “Eight Second Ride,” climbed to No. 11 and the title track from his first album, “Startin’ With Me” peaked at No. 6.
9:30 p.m. Dec. 31. $20-$125. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY
Noot d’ Noot, Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Gringo Star

Noot d’ Noot blends psychedelia and R&B as if they were natural bedfellows, and frankly, they are (just ask Funkadelic). Think a touch of OutKast and the New York-based mutant disco of the turn of the ’80s melded with modern indie rock.
Fronted by Carbonas bassist Jesse Smith, Gentleman Jesse & His Men got a lot of notice from “I Don’t Wanna Know,” a blazing track that spliced together jangly ’70s power pop and the melodic punk of the Buzzcocks. It was a couple of the finest minutes of music released by Atlantans in 2007. The band finally got around to releasing a debut album in fall 2008, and “Introducing Gentleman Jesse” was worth the wait, delivering on the promise of that stunning single. Here’s hoping we’ll get a follow-up in the near future, but don’t go holding your breath. Gringo Star’s sprightly, kaleidoscopic garage rock, a hooky update of ’60s mod pop, deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Perhaps the new album the quartet recently recorded will make that happen.
9 p.m. Dec. 31. $12; $10 in advance. Also, 9 p.m. Jan. 1. $5. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

SATURDAY
Angie Aparo

Aparo was a solo recording artist for 10 years before Faith Hill recorded his song “Cry” in 2002, making him an in-demand songwriter. He’s still a touring and recording artist, but he continues to work with others. He was among those appearing at the Zac Brown Band’s October 2009 benefit for the Georgia Theatre, which took place at the Fox Theatre and was released earlier this year as “Pass the Jar: Zac Brown Band and Friends Live from the Fabulous Fox Theatre In Atlanta.”
7 p.m. Jan. 1. $15; $12 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

SATURDAY
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly

The late Teena Marie, who died Dec. 26 at 54, was supposed to join this R&B combo, a perennial favorite in Atlanta, for this New Year’s Day celebration. Instead, Beverly and his band will be joined by Johnny Gill and Stephanie Mills in a tribute to the life and music of the woman known as Lady T and the Ivory Queen of Soul.
8:30 p.m. Jan. 1. $80-$110. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

3 comments Add your comment

really

December 29th, 2010
8:11 pm

Umm, how can you not put the biggest event in the city that night at Philips Arena?

[...] more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so [...]

dylan

December 30th, 2010
11:15 am

exactly really….